How to manually install Android 4.4.3 on your Nexus 5

The wait is over and Google has finally begun the roll-out of Android 4.4.3. The update itself brings mostly just bug fixes to various devices but also boasts a visually redesigned phone app. If you’re just chomping at the bit to get the update and don’t want to wait for the OTA update to hit your phone, we’ll show you how you can do it manually.

fr teaser - How to manually install Android 4.4.3 on your Nexus 5

© AndroidPIT


Before starting, you’ll need to download two files:

By doing this update, you’ll be updating your Nexus 5 to build number KTU84M and as such, you’ll need to have a Nexus 5 with a build number of KOT49H prior to doing this. To check what version you have installed currently, go to Settings > About Phone > Build Number.

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How to boost the speaker and headset volume on the Nexus 5

First thing’s first, you need to have root access for this trick, and you need to be comfortable flashing a zip in Recovery Mode. Ok, if that hasn’t sent you running for the hills, let’s proceed with a simple trick to get much better sound quality and volume from your Nexus 5‘s rather pathetic speaker and volume control, even after the improvements brought by Android 4.4.1 and 4.4.2.

new nexus 5 2 - How to boost the speaker and headset volume on the Nexus 5
Even the new, slightly ”bigger” Nexus 5 speaker is pretty poor. / © Android Lab

The best thing about this trick is that is doesn’t distort the sound like a lot of Play Store volume enhancer apps do. All you need is one of the four flashable zips on this XDA Developer’s thread – either the headphones and speaker zip, the headphones-only or speaker-only zip, or the revert to stock zip – saved to an easily locatable place on your Nexus 5. You don’t need them all but there’s no harm in having them all either. Android 4.4, 4.4.1 and 4.4.2 are all supported, just get the right zip.

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Five Ways to Increase Battery Life on Android 4.4 KitKat

android 4 4 kit kat - Five Ways to Increase Battery Life on Android 4.4 KitKatAndroid 4.4 KitKat is officially here. Well, it’s here if you’re a Nexus 5 owner. Nobody knows when the rest of the Android world will be getting the latest update, but let’s hope it’s sooner rather than later.

Today, we’re going to show you how to easily increase battery life on your Nexus 5 by implementing five easy tips today.


gps battery savings android - Five Ways to Increase Battery Life on Android 4.4 KitKat

Android’s default GPS feature is useful if you use a lot of location tracking apps – like Google Maps or business finding apps. Thankfully, Google realized that GPS wasn’t very battery efficient, which is why they created a GPS mode that uses less battery life and implemented it into Android 4.4.

This battery saving GPS mode won’t completely take away your location-finding features, but it will use fewer reference points to find your location.

In all likelihood, your location will still be fairly accurate, just not as accurate or as quick-to-respond as the default GPS mode. To enable this mode in Android 4.4 KitKat, go to Settings > Location > Mode and then check the box beside Battery Saving.

If you’re in a situation where you need very precise map tracking, then you can easily disable this mode. Until then, enjoy your longer battery life.


google now kit kat android 4 41 - Five Ways to Increase Battery Life on Android 4.4 KitKat


One of the biggest improvements in Android 4.4 is the feature where your phone listens for special hotwords like “OK Google”. This is useful if you’re in the car or hands-free mode, but many Android users will find it unnecessary.

Fortunately, you can easily disable this mode when you don’t need it. To do that, go to your Google Now app > Settings > Voice and then disable Hotword Detection.


android sync battery life - Five Ways to Increase Battery Life on Android 4.4 KitKat

Android likes to keep you updated on everything that’s going on in the world. Unfortunately, keeping updated all the time burns battery life. By default, Android will sync all of the accounts you’ve added to your phone or tablet.

That’s useful for email and possibly Facebook. But most accounts are better off without being synchronized constantly – especially accounts you might barely use like Google Keep, Google Play, or your photo apps.

Photos can be particularly devastating to your battery life. Every time you take a photo, Google may try to sync that photo with the cloud or whatever other photo sharing/storage service you use.

The easiest way to change this is to go to your Settings menu and look for your email address under Accounts. Tap that account name to access sync settings for each service.

You can also remove photo syncing directly from the gallery app under the Settings menu.


nfc kit kat - Five Ways to Increase Battery Life on Android 4.4 KitKat

I can’t believe it’s 2013 and I still have to remind people of this, but such is life. I’m sick of friends complaining about poor smartphone battery life, only to constantly see the Bluetooth and NFC icons sitting in their notifications bar. All wireless services burn battery life, but NFC is a particularly lethal killer.

You can disable NFC and all other wireless connections from the Settings menu under (More) > Wireless and Networks


kit kat battery life - Five Ways to Increase Battery Life on Android 4.4 KitKat

Android has had a battery life monitoring tool for quite some time now. This app shows you exactly what’s draining battery life and how much battery life your apps are draining.

To access this tool in Android 4.4 KitKat, go to the Quick Settings menu from the notifications shade and then tap the battery logo. This will reveal a complete list of active apps that are draining battery as well as the percentage of battery life they’re draining.

Obviously, some app usage is unavoidable. For example, your Android’s screen and wireless connections are an important part of your phone/tablet. However, it’s easy to find a few surprising apps under this menu as well, such as that random game you once downloaded and now constantly bothered you with notifications. Uninstall that app or prevent it from running to boost your battery life.

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How to change the default SMS app in Android 4.4 KITKAT on the Nexus 5

With Android 4.4 KITKAT came a great new feature — system-wide SMS handling. This gave developers an easy, pain-free way to hook into the device’s SMS handler, and resulted in giving users a more easy way to switch between SMS apps (we all hate the drill of having to disable notifications and possibly reroute SMS messages using obscure methods). And with some of the bugs present in the latest version of Hangouts it’s probably safe to say not many people are gung-ho about using that particular app as their standard SMS experience.

In the video above, I show you how to quickly and easily change the default SMS app. It’s as simple as hitting Settings > Wireless and Networks > Default SMS app. A quick picker box will pop up, and you should be able to switch between any of the SMS apps installed on your phone. Quick. Painless. Simple. Lovely. Watch the video above if you need a quick visual primer.

by Quentyn Kennemer
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Download Nexus 5 wallpapers for your device

Nexus 5 Wallpapers 610x406 - Download Nexus 5 wallpapers for your deviceOn Thursday, Google finally announced the Nexus 5 and revealed more details about features we will find in Android 4.4 KitKat.

With the release of a new operating system and a new device there’s bound to be new wallpapers and background images. Luckily, Google posts the system images for Nexus devices and some very kind members of the XDA forum have pulled the Nexus 5 wallpapers and have made them available for download.

Droid Life has packaged up all eight of the wallpapers into a ZIP file (link is at the bottom of the Droid Life post) and made it available for all to download, or if you’d prefer you can grab the wallpaper you like the most from the same post.

The size of the wallpapers will allow you to use them on nearly any device, including other Android devices and should make for some interesting parallax wallpapers on iOS 7 devices.

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